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Products for Grant FA-56081-11

FA-56081-11
The Machinery of Meaning: A Philosophical Foundation for Cognitive Science
Michael Rescorla, University of California, Santa Barbara

Grant details: https://securegrants.neh.gov/publicquery/main.aspx?f=1&gn=FA-56081-11

The Causal Relevance of Content to Computation (Article)
Title: The Causal Relevance of Content to Computation
Author: Michael Rescorla
Abstract: Many philosophers worry that the computational theory of mind (CTM) engenders epiphenomenalism. Building on Block’s (1990) discussion, I formulate a particularly troubling version of this worry. I then present a novel solution to CTM’s epiphenomenalist conundrum. I develop my solution within an interventionist theory of causal relevance, as espoused by Woodward (2003) and others. My solution departs substantially from orthodox versions of CTM. In particular, I reject the widespread picture of digital computation as formal syntactic manipulation.
Year: 2012
Primary URL: http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/journal/10.1111/%28ISSN%291933-1592
Primary URL Description: journal website
Access Model: Subscription
Format: Journal
Periodical Title: Philosophy and Phenomenological Research
Publisher: Wiley

How to Integrate Representation into Computational Modeling, and Why We Should (Article)
Title: How to Integrate Representation into Computational Modeling, and Why We Should
Author: Michael Rescorla
Abstract: I argue that Chalmers’s proposed computational foundation conflicts with contemporary cognitive science. I present an alternative approach to modeling the mind computationally. On my alternative approach, computational models can individuate mental states in representational terms, without any appeal to organizationally invariant properties. I develop my approach through case studies drawn from cognitive psychology, CS, and AI.
Year: 2012
Primary URL: http://j-cs.org/index/index.php
Primary URL Description: journal website
Access Model: Subscription; however, this particular issue of the journal is open access
Format: Journal
Periodical Title: Journal of Cognitive Science
Publisher: Institute for Cognitive Science

A Theory of Computational Implementation (Article)
Title: A Theory of Computational Implementation
Author: Michael Rescorla
Abstract: I articulate and defend a new theory of what it is for a physical system to implement an abstract computational model. According to my descriptivist theory, a physical system implements a computational model just in case the model accurately describes the system. Specifically, the system must reliably transit between computational states in accord with mechanical instructions encoded by the model. I contrast my theory with an influential approach to computational implementation espoused by Chalmers, Putnam, and others. I deploy my theory to illuminate the relation between computation and representation. I also address arguments, propounded by Putnam and Searle, that computational implementation is trivial.
Year: 2014
Primary URL: http://link.springer.com/journal/11229
Primary URL Description: journal website
Access Model: Subscription
Format: Journal
Periodical Title: Synthese
Publisher: Springer


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